SHENANDOAH - A Shenandoah Valley parent attended Wednesday's board meeting to question extracurricular activity buyouts in the district.
Renee Buchanan, the mother of two students in the district, both of whom are involved in extracurricular activities, says some buyouts for activity fundraisers can cost as much as $250.
"It's very difficult for me, with two children, and I don't think they should have to feel the stress of what I'm feeling in order to participate in these sports." Buchanan said.
Buchanan's daughter Alyssa, a sophomore, is involved in the Drama Club, Cheerleading, Volleyball, Basketball, Student Council, Cross Country, and Track.
In discussion between the board and Buchanan during the public portion, one potential conclusion drawn is the purchase of "extras" - bags, jackets, fan buses, and other items not necessary for the activity.
By Kaylee Lindenmuth
SHENANDOAH - The Shenandoah Police Department has announced parking restrictions for this weekend's Heritage Day festival in the borough.
No parking will be allowed on Saturday, August 26 for the following streets at the following times:
Vehicles parked in the no-parking zones will be ticketed and towed at the owner's expense.
By David Lindenmuth
SHENANDOAH - During its regular meeting on Monday, the Shenandoah Borough Council approved a resolution "approving a request for qualifications and indication of interest relating to a potential sale and/or other disposition of water or sewer systems..."
"What this is is basically putting the water and sewage plant and its assets out for an appraisal on potential sale, management by an outside source, or potential leasing the operations to them." Council President Leo Pietkiewicz explained. "In no way is council obligated to do anything with this. This is just to find out the values... We are not obligated in any way to sell or sublease or anything like that."
Pietkiewicz also noted that the resolution comes from a recommendation from the Pennsylvania Economy League.
When asked by a resident if there were issues at the sewer plant, Pietkiewicz responded "When the PA Economy League came in, they looked at the overall infrastructure of the borough and its lifespan. (Our sewer plant) is 40 years old. It's operational, but we've been looking at filing for grants to build a brand new sewer plant, but there's not a problem with it, it's upkept. Actually, when I sat with DEP in Wilkes-Barre, they were extremely commendable of our sewer department, because they were quite impressed that a plant 40 years old is still operational. The life expectancy of a sewer plant is only 20-25 years."
MAR LIN - "This important event can be summed up in one word - 'pride'" ~ Schuylkill Technology Center Executive Director Dr. Greg Koons.
Since 1968, the Schuylkill Technology Center has provided vocational/technical education for students in Schuylkill County, and on Tuesday morning, the center held a ribbon cutting ceremony at its South campus in Mar Lin to commemorate its 50th anniversary.
The ribbon cutting ceremony featured speeches from several community leaders, including Robert S. Carl Jr., president of the Schuylkill Technology Center.
"I don't think there's ever been a better time to be celebrating an anniversary than right now... I think over the last many years, our community has rallied around the importance of technical vocational education and its opportunity in the workplace today" Carl said during the event. "Through our manufacturers assocation, our economic development arm represented by SEDCO, the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce, and truthfully many other business organizations and organizations in our community, we have an opportunity to collaborate and partner together, to make not only an educational opportunity for our future business and manufacturing and economic development leaders, but the opportunity for them to find meaningful work in our community and to, therefore, raise the level of our job opportunities and therefore the quality of life that we want so desperately to have in Schuylkill County."
UPDATE: Remnants of horror movie taping near Raven Run prompts State Police investigation, helicopter search
Updated 8/21/2017 @ 1:02pm
WEST MAHANOY TOWNSHIP - The remnants of a horror movie scene filmed near the West Mahanoy Township village of Raven Run prompted a state police investigation, helicopter search, and dive team response on Sunday afternoon.
Around 7:00pm, Mahanoy City's West End Fire Company's Rescue 993 and Dive Team were dispatched to the Raven Run area to assist the state police on a "special assignment".
West End's Rescue 993 staged at the access road to the Iberdola Renewables Locust Ridge II Wind Farm, while crews used the access road to get to the scene.
Shortly after nightfall, the investigation was called off for the day, though crews will return tomorrow to continue.
It was revealed on Monday that the scene under investigation was formerly the scene of a horror movie taping, whose remnants prompted the response.
The movie filmed at the site is titled "Back Road", written and directed by Barnesville's Drew Pizzo.
Pizzo says that they were shooting a scene in the area earlier Sunday with permission from property owners.
We reported yesterday that an apparent drowning occurred at the scene, according to a firefighter on scene. According to State Police, a drowning did not occur.
By David Lindenmuth
SHENANDOAH - The Schuylkill County District Attorney's Office and Schuylkill County Detectives are searching for a Shenandoah man with an outstanding bench warrant, and they're looking for the public's assistance in locating him.
Detectives say Byron Becker, 38, of Shenandoah, is wanted on an outstanding bench warrant after he failed to appear in court for jury selection on a felony charge.
Becker's last known address is 14 North Gilbert Street, and he is described as a 38 year old white male at a height of 6-feet 1-inches, and a weight of about 180 pounds.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Becker or on any other fugitive in Schuylkill County is asked to call the district attorney’s office at 570-628-1350 or the Schuylkill County tip line at 570-624-3988.
Email tips can also be submitted via email@example.com
Anyone who may come in contact with Becker is asked to call the Schuylkill County Communications Center or their local police department as soon as possible.
All tips and information will remain confidential.
A complete list of Schuylkill County bench warrants is available on the Schuylkill County website at www.co.schuylkill.pa.us
(NOTE: This is a developing story, and we are still awaiting a full release from Police regarding the incident. Check back for the most up-to-date information)
SHENANDOAH - A police incident has resulted in several arrests following a car theft incident, according to a borough official.
Around 7:00pm Wednesday, Shenandoah Police, assisted by Butler Township Police, Pennsylvania State Police, and Schuylkill County Sheriff's took a suspect into custody on the unit block of North Gilbert Street.
Witnesses say a pickup truck flew northbound on North Gilbert at a high speed.
A Pennsylvania State Police helicopter circled the borough during the incident.
Multiple suspects were taken into custody, but the number was unconfirmed at the time.
We will have more information on this developing story as it becomes available to us.
FRACKVILLE - A building demolition in Frackville damaged utility lines and a traffic light as a wall fell towards the Lehigh Avenue.
The building at Oak Street and Lehigh Avenue was scheduled to be demolished this week, prompting the closure of a block of East Oak during the project.
Early Wednesday afternoon, a portion of the building collapsed into the street bringing down Service Electric Cablevision wires, reportedly cutting cable services from Frackville to Saint Clair.
The collapse also caused damage to the traffic lights at the intersection of Oak and Lehigh.
According to Frackville Police Chief Richard Bell, the collapse caused damage to a passing vehicle but no injuries were reported.
Lehigh Avenue was closed from Frack to Chestnut Streets in the borough's downtown while repairs were made and the scene was cleaned up.
Crews from PP&L, Service Electric Cablevision, and the Goodwill Fire Company in Frackville were also on scene.
Keep a check on the Sentinel for a photo gallery and video from the scene.
FRACKVILLE - The Schuylkill Mall is set to be demolished by the end of 2017, according to Schuylkill Economic Development Corp. (SEDCO) Vice President Brian Hansbury.
The plan was presented by Hansbury, behalf of mall owners Northpoint Development to the Schuylkill County Commissioners during their August 16 workshop.
The plan would see the mall demolished, beginning at the with the Sears/Bon-Ton wing and ending with the Movie Theater wing, which is set to remain open until the end of the year. The mall is expected to be completely demolished by the end of the winter.
Northpoint Development will then construct two warehouses, 890,000 square feet and 360,000 square feet respectively, and are projected to create a minimum of 830 jobs.
SHENANDOAH HEIGHTS - The West Mahanoy Township Supervisors held their monthly meeting on Tuesday evening.
On the agenda was the 2017 Road Program. One bid, from Tropp Contracting of the Minersville/Seltzer Area, was received by the township.
The bid, at a cost of $43,010, was accepted by the township after a short executive session.
The project includes the following streets in the township, among others:
During the public portion, a resident from Lost Creek expressed concern regarding an abandoned property adjoined to her property, the owners of Granny's Motel also expressed concerns about drainage issues in the area, and a resident of Shenandoah Heights expressed concern with code issues at a neighbor's property.